Criminal Justice

Judge wasn't required to help police arrest her fugitive boyfriend, her lawyer says

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A suspended New Jersey superior court judge charged with hindering the arrest of her then-boyfriend, a fugitive wanted in an armed robbery case who was found at the judge’s home, wasn’t required to do more than she did, her lawyer told a Somerset County judge on Tuesday.

Hence, the case against Middlesex County Judge Carlia Brady should be dismissed, her attorney argued.

Just like any other private citizen, the judge, who was on vacation at the time of the 2013 incident, wasn’t required to tell police that Jason Prontnicki was en route to or present at her home, said defense attorney Tim Smith. The indictment says Prontnicki had been there about an hour when police arrived and arrested both him and the judge, New Jersey Advance Media reports.

Brady is also accused of offering to supply Prontnicki with transportation, money or clothes to help him elude arrest.

Smith said Brady tried to persuade Prontnicki to give himself up to authorities and did nothing to attempt to conceal his presence when law enforcement arrived at her home. However, she wasn’t required to assist in his arrest by the judicial code of conduct, Smith said.

“You can’t be indicted on ‘could’ve done more,”’ Smith told the court. “You can’t put my client in jail for five years on ‘could’ve done more.’ The state is saying my client’s duties as a judge are inherent and non-discretionary. The state is making up the law as they go along.”

Related coverage: “Suspended judge indicted over fugitive found at her home in 2013”

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